This has been an amazing, incredible year. I can’t believe how amazing 2013 was. I started writing this out and I couldn’t stop going “oh right, that happened too!”
That goes to show you the amazingness that occurred this year. So much of it.
I could go on and on about it but the best way to show you is to just dive right in. Check it out!
Oh! And if the event has a link, it’ll take you to the recap and more pictures! Just a little FYI!
Took a Trip to San Francisco with Jon
Jon knew that one of the things I really want to do in my life is to travel and he started me on my journey by surprising me with a trip up to San Francisco. We stayed at the extremely fancy smancy Fairmont Hotel, which was so insanely nice, and we hit all kinds of cool spots in the days we were there.
My First Ever Gallifrey One
My first time at the Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles and I was already hooked. Everything about it is awesome and convenient. The panels are great, there are really no ridiculous lines, the ribbons are the best, and singing karaoke with fellow Dr Who fans (and writers!) until 5 am just can’t be beat.
Jon and I Celebrated FIVE YEARS Together
This is just INSANITY to me, and the crazy part about it is that we’re only a month away from our sixth anniversary as I write this. At the risk (well, probability) of sounding cheesy, I love this boy with all my heart. You guys hear enough about him to know. I enjoy every single anniversary with him, especially since we always celebrate Disney style in some way. We also saw penguins at the aquarium too. It was a win.
Lauren Oliver is one of the first authors I met this year, in the year that I would eventually meet a TON of authors. I adore Lauren and while the Delirium trilogy fell sort of flat to me, her standalone novel, Before I Fall is absolutely brilliant. She was a treat to me, and had fantastic writing advice, especially for those, like me, who get very discouraged sometimes.
One of the BEST moments of the year. It was not the first time I had met her, and it wouldn’t be the last either (keep going!) but it was definitely the best. I was coming off the Clockwork Princess high, which had been released a few days before, and I got to interview her. I showed her my tattoo (she took a picture) and she gave me my Clockwork Angel necklace and it was brilliant.
You can watch the interview here.
Just a week after meeting Cassie again and interviewing her, her and Kevin Zegers, Jamie Campbell Bower and Lily Collins hit Wonder Con. I was already going to hit the panel and the autograph signing, when I won a special VIP signing with them! I got a poster AND a book, pictures and I met some of the BEST friends in the world there (I’m looking at you, Sylvia and Pamela!)
Seeing and Meeting Andrew McMahon Again
Andrew McMahon is the lead of my favorite band in the whole entire world, Something Corporate. He is a solo artist now, after doing SoCo and Jack’s Mannequin and went on a solo tour. He did solo songs and songs from both bands. I got to meet him again, for the millionth time but this time, I got to show him my Something Corporate tattoo. It was a great experience. He is my musical god.
I started reading Unremembered because I saw it on the bookshelf and the cover was all purple and I liked it so I bought it. This is the kind of things that go through my head. I saw Jessica at WonderCon during a “Writing for Teens and Tweens” panel, and immediately knew I had to go home and finish the book. She’s hilarious and unique and extremely encouraging and I love that I’ve become friends with her this year.
Went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and Met Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Dessen, and Morgan Matson.
The Los Angeles Festival of Books! I’ve been a hundred million times before but this one totally takes the cake. I met a ton of great authors (like Cassandra Clare…again!), Veronica Roth, Sarah Dessen, all kinds of bombtastic authors. AND I met my fangirl friends like Sylvia (officially), Paulina, Marla, Paulina, and so many more of you! OH and I met the director of City of Bones, Harald Zwart, who signed under my tattoo. I have no idea why but it was awesome. His wife was the sweetest lady ever.
I was so excited to reach one year. The blog had grown so much in the last year, and I am so proud of it. I had a huge giveaway in celebration, which actually led me to a good friend, Mina. She won and we met at an author event, where I gave her the prize. We’ve been friends ever since. She’s the sweetest girl, and I’m so grateful for my blog bringing me so close to other people.
Myself, Sylvia, Megan, Tatiana and my sister were the featured bloggers of the Ontario Teen Book Fest. I got to meet Courtney, the teen librarian in Ontario, who has been a wicked awesome friend to have. I got meet authors that I loved like Jessica Brody, Morgan Matson, Marie Lu and Stephen Chbosky, and discovered new ones like LEigh Bardugo, Andrew Smith, Gretchen McNeil and more. Such an experience, I can’t WAIT til next year. This is also where I started my writing advice poster, which is so much more filled now.
Thanks to the absolute loveliness of Allison Tran at the Mission Viejo Library, I was able to interview iconic author, Eoin Colfer this year. Yeah, that one, the one that writes Artemis Fowl, amongst a bunch of other great books. He was hilarious, a serious comedian and I was so honored to be able to interview him…and he signed my book with this! So great. Plus I took my sister and brother with me, and they both fangirled (boyed) over him.
I went to my first ever premiere and it was epic! I had never watched the first Star Trek so I stayed up late the night before, and watched it, and then had a blast the next day. Seeing all the sexy stars (Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto), getting on the news, hanging out with my new friends and watching a really awesome movie was the perfect experience for my first movie premiere.
Summer Lovin’ Author Tour Featuring Suzanne Young, Sarah Ockler, Shannon Messenger, Morgan Matson, Jessi Kirby and Kimberly Derting!
Headed back to the Mission Viejo Library (seriously, Allison Tran and Whale of a Tale Books rock) to meet some super great YA authors. I met Morgan Matson AGAIN (she is getting so tired of me, I’m sure haha), and discovered some new ones like Shannon Messenger and Sarah Ockler (not pictured). They all signed my writing advice poster, which I talked about above, and their books are so great!
Arrested Development Stair Car and Banana Stand!
One of the BEST shows ever returns to TV, and with that, they promoted it like crazy. You could go take pictures with the stair car (which we totally did) and go to the banana stand and get a frozen banana…for free, which we did TWICE, in two different places. Definitely a highlight of the year.
My Boyfriend Graduates College!
My super brilliant, smart, amazing boyfriend graduated with his Bachelors in math at Cal State University, Fullerton. I’m so proud of him. He is seriously one of the smartest people I know and I was so proud of him that day. Look at that smile ;)
After discovering the awesome that was Leigh Bardugo, I attended the book release party for the release of the second Grisha book, Siege and Storm. Free food, free booze, lots of cool authors and friends. The place where it was at was SUPER cool too, old typewriters and books on the wall. Great time.
My Best Friend Got Married (And I Totally Caught the Bouquet)!
My best friend Allison married her boyfriend of 7 years in July where I was a bridesmaid and my boyfriend was a groomsmen. It was a beautiful wedding, and I had a total blast (plus I looked super pretty, if I do say so myself) and I beat people out of the way in order to grab that bouquet, much to Jon’s dismay ;) This was the same weekend as Comic Con and I didn’t even notice!
Not only do they write a seriously fun middle grade books, but it was John Freakin Barrowman. Freakin Captain Jack Harkness! They were both super sassy, and they messed with each other like siblings do. And John is seriously a total flirt. Even though he’s fabulously gay and totally taken, it was awesome being able to flirt with that guy.
Sylvia, myself and my sisters went to Conan to see Neil Patrick Harris and Shailene Woodley and then the next day, we woke up early and went down to the Americana to meet some of the stars of the new Percy Jackson movie: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Levin Rambin, Brandon T Jackson. Then we were able to see the movie afterward, which turned out to be the premiere. It was so much fun.
It was hard to choose a picture for this one. This one was an amazing experience. Sylvia and I were first in line for the premiere, totally taken care of by Eric Paquette, the senior VP of Sony, were brought soup by Harald Zwart, cookies by Kevin Zegers and were right on the barricade. I met EVERYONE, and got pictures with nearly everyone (just not Lily Collins) and it was an incredible experience. I met a ton of new friends and it was just awesome. I was exhausted, but it was so totally worth it. SO worth it. I got my Magnus Bane doll signed by Godfrey Gao too, so that was good too haha.
After staying up all night, we went to the Americana for the TMI Mall Tour. We waited in line for hours again and then in front of the stage for more hours (and got SO sunburnt…damn August sun) and met Lily, Harald, Cassie, Kevin, Robbie and Jamie. It was a ton of fun, and even though I nearly fainted from dehydration and back pains, it was another incredible experience. I had a blast. And my Magnus Bane doll got signed by all of the cast.
What A Nerd Girl Says Goes Through a MakeOver!
Thanks to the lovely Erin Westlund, my blog got a makeover. I loved my blog but it need some refreshing. I gave her a general idea of what I wanted and she took it and made it that much better. I am so in love with how my blog looks like. It looks amazing. Sometimes I just stare it, like, oh my god, this is beautiful and mine. I also changed to a separate server, which helped me get more traffic.
Finally Transferred and Started at Cal State Fullerton
I couldn’t find a picture for this one haha but I was so excited to finally get into this school. It means I’m finally getting to the end of my schooling. Finally! It feels good to be making some progress, and it feels good to be a Titan.
Met Sarah J. Maas at Crown of Midnight Book Release!
When I read Throne of Glass, it absolutely blew me away. Its refreshing to read some honest to god good YA fantasy and Sarah J Maas definitely does that. When I heard the release party for Crown of Midnight would be at Mrs Nelson’s, which was only 20 minutes away from me (they just announced they are closing. so sad), I had to go. I went with my dear friend, Erin, from That One Geek Girl, and it was a blast. She’s a character, and I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.
Met Kazu Kibuishi, the Artist of the Harry Potter Anniversary Covers
When they announced that they were coming out with brand new covers in anniversary editions of Harry Potter, I was skeptical. I mean, Mary Grandpre is a genius and I love the covers, and I get especially protective of my Harry Potter series. But when they started releasing the new covers periodically, I fell in love. Kazu did these new covers justice, and he’s obviously insanely talented. I was honored to have met him and I’m glad I was able to get a few books signed by him. I’m also excited to try out his own comic series, because his artwork is truly amazing.
Yes! I got my 8th tattoo and my 7th fandom tattoo…my Doctor Who tattoo. I finally did it, and I made it much bigger than I meant to (because it would have come out terrible if I made it any smaller) and I absolutely love it. I seriously stare at it all the time. You know you love your tattoos when you stare at them a lot and I do. Doctor Who has become more and more important to me and I was stoked to share my love for it this way.
Met Markus Zusak, Author of The Book Thief
Props to Sylvia for scoping out on this event. Markus Zusak is the author of the iconic, emotional, impactful book, The Book Thief. Finding out he was doing a signing for his book (when he lives in freakin Australia!) in Los Angeles was awesome, and he was a funny and charming guy to meet. I’m sure not very many people get the opportunity to meet such an author and I was honored to meet him.
I had already met Gretchen when she made an appearance at the Ontario Teen Book Fest, but seeing her for her own event, promoting her new release 3:59 (which is awesome!) was super great. She remembered who I was too, which will always be a super fun thrill for me, no matter what happens with this blog. I will always get a kick out of being remembered by talented authors. She also introduced me to Kendare Blake, who is super funny, in a dry sort of humor way, and I can’t wait to read her books.
Met Rae Carson!
This was a HUGE deal for me. Rae Carson’s The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy is INCREDIBLE, a brilliant fantasy masterpiece, with some of the best world building I have ever seen. Seriously, a truly talented author. Her books blow me away and Elisa is one of the best and most genuine characters I’ve ever read. Myself, my dad, my brother and my boyfriend went on a four hour adventure for me to go and meet her and let me say this: it was incredibly worth it. She is fantastic, inspiring and her books will stay with me for ages.
Saw Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco in Concert!
Continuing my streak of seeing my favorite bands this year, I was able to see Fall Out Boy AND Panic! at the Disco in the same concert. I hadnt’ seen Fall Out Boy in…five years, way before their hiatus and I’d never seen PATD. These are my two favorite bands after Something Corporate so seeing them was awesome! Granted it was a stadium show (meh) and I was sitting far away so they were little (see picture), but I had decent seats for being a poor college student book blogger and I had a blast listening to their awesome music. I am so glad FOB is back and to finally see PATD.
Another MAJOR highlight of my year, meeting the epic Cinda Williams Chima, SUCH an underrated author. She is incredible and when I discovered her books last year, I was utterly floored at how amazing they were. I counted down the days until she came to town. I was literally the ONLY fan there, but I took advantage of it, and basically hogged her attention the entire time. She totally knew who I was (which made me internally squeal a TON) and she was just plain awesome. I can’t even begin to describe the amazing experience that it was.
Another fun filled afternoon with incredibly talented authors, and discovering new authors as well. What I really loved about this fest was…well, a couple things. One, I was able to interview Ned Vizzini and share an experience with him before his death a few weeks ago. I was able to finally sit down and tell Andrew Smith what an absolutely incredible author he is. And I also was able to get SO much writing advice and get so much inspiration from these authors and this event alone really gave me the kick in the rear to start writing again. This was an incredible, life-changing (at least for me) event.
Saw Story of the Year in Concert! Discovered Set It Off!
That’s me at the barricade, waiting for Story of the Year to come on. Don’t I look so incredibly stoked? Don’t be fooled, I was SO excited. After Something Corporate, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco, Story of the Year is a favorite band of mine. I hadn’t seen them since I was 15 so this was an amazing event, and I was front and center at the barricade (which I never do, because I’m a scaredy cat) and it was SUCH a great experience. I never want to be anywhere but the barricade at a concert ever again. I also discovered the band, Set it Off, that night, and they have quickly become a favorite, and their album, Cinematics, is a HUGE inspiration for The Reawakened.
After the craziest driving trip ever (had to leave home, pick up one friend, pick up another friend, then make the trip to San Diego…), we made it there, and it was GREAT. I had already met Jessica and Leigh, of course, and they remembered me and Sylvia, which was great, and awesome, as per usual. Then getting to know Ann Aguirre and Gennifer Albin was FANTASTIC as well. The entire panel was hilarious and we were their first stop, so I knew the rest of the tour was going to be epic. This was another event where I felt like I gained a TON of writing advice too!
My second official Harry Potter Day at Disneyland. I had been before, but last year was the first year I actually participated in the scavenger hunt and all that. This year, I had a very tiny team, with my friends (and fellow Whovians!) Ana and Lori and we seriously kicked butt. Our team ended up winning for our House in trivia (we rock!), and it was a SUPER fun day.
Met Neal Shusterman!
Talk about some books that literally knocked me off my feet. Neal Shusterman’s Unwind books have blown me away and I was so blown away by his incredible story that when I met him, I wasn’t even capable of speaking. I said I loved his books, got my books signed and that was it. So embarrassing. But it was still worth it to meet him :)
Catching Fire Fan Camp and Red Carpet Premiere!
My first official fan camp experience! SO much happened you’d have to read the recaps of Day One, Two and Three. I had a blast, I was exhausted and sometimes cranky but at the end of the weekend, it was so worth it. I got to meet some of my favorite actors/actresses (like freakin Jennifer Lawrence), I talked about my favorite place in the whole world (Disneyland) with Sam Claflin, and partied until the late hours with my fellow THG fans. It was such a crazy, ridiculous, tiring experience but it was SO worth it. I recommend fan camping to all fangirls/boys. It is SUCH an experience, seriously.
I had kind of heard of NaNoWriMo before but not really. When I found out what it was, I was kind of skeptical. I didn’t think the idea of writing an entire novel in one month sounded like a good idea. I still really don’t think so. But I took the idea, twisted it to fit the What a Nerd Girl Says needs and took the month of November to concentrate immensely on the development of my novel. I surpassed 50K words (I think I reached 62K at the end), and I really dove into my story. I know the direction its going in and I really know what I want from it. I am glad it exists, and I’m also grateful for the other aspiring authors I met during the month, that I now can bounce ideas off of and go to for inspiration and advice and a shoulder to cry on.
Met Marie Lu: Champion Tour
I had already met Marie Lu a few times this year, but with the release of Champion, the last and final novel in the Legend trilogy, I HAD to meet her again, in order to have the entire trilogy signed. I’m nothing if not complete in my work as a book lover haha. She was sweet as per usual and I love having the complete set signed. It makes me a VERY happy fangirl.
SUCH a cool idea. Thanks immensely to Jenna for sending me such a WICKED Secret Santa box. Seriously, it was SO awesome to get and I can’t wait to read these books. It also gave me the idea to hold my own little Secret Santa for my blogger friends, and we’re doing it again for Valentine’s Day too, so yay! It was a great idea, and a fun way to get new books and pass on books to others!
Constructed My First Book Tree
I was trying to figure out what to do with the ridiculous amount of books I have (and no book shelves) and saw a tutorial on Hypable on how to build a book tree. I built the tree, which took a little bit of time and a lot of patience, but I absolutely loved how it turned out. I know Christmas is over, and all that, but I’m thinking of leaving it that way because it just looks so awesome!
Completed My GoodReads 200 Book Goal
I honestly wasn’t sure that I was going to make it! I was up and down and all around, and I would read a lot and then not read for days but I made it. I made this goal and I reached it and I’m proud of myself for that. I’m glad to be spending 2014 focused on the enjoyment of reading and less on pushing myself to read a ton of books but I am still so proud that I managed to reach this goal. Very very proud of myself.
* * * * *
What an incredible year. I am so grateful for the amazing year I had and for each and every person that helped make it as great as it, especially my boyfriend and my family, for putting up with me and my fangirl craziness every single day. Their patience is awesome and I love them for it.
Let’s do 2014, guys. Let’s make it just as great, if not better, than last year. I can’t wait to dive in, and I hope I can bring you along in my adventures.
Happy New Year!